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Big Cartel vs Shopify: Which is Best for Your Online Store?

Starting an online store can be a great way to reach a larger audience and increase sales. However, with so many e-commerce platforms available, it can be difficult to choose the right one for your business. Two popular options are Big Cartel and Shopify.

In this article, we’ll guide you through a quick comparison of Big Cartel vs Shopify, to help you choose which platform is best for your e-commerce.

Short on time? Jump right to the comparison 👉 Big Cartel vs Shopify

Big Cartel: what is it and how it works

big cartel vs shopify
Image credit: Big Cartel

Big Cartel is an e-commerce platform, specifically designed for artists and makers. Its strength is the ease of use: it offers a simple, user-friendly interface, suitable for beginners.

  • a customizable homepage;
  • product management tools;
  • free option;
  • easy checkout for customers.

Big Cartel has three different pricing plans, including, as mentioned above, a free option for small stores. But even the paid plans – that don’t have the limitations of the free plan – are way less expensive than its competitors.


Compared to other e-commerce platforms such as Shopify, Big Cartel has quite essential features, so not the best choice if you have a big e-commerce or you plan on scaling it. Big Cartel also lacks a blogging feature, which many e-commerces use to reach a bigger audience.

Quick takeaway

The platform is best suited for artists, musicians, and other creatives who want to sell their products online. As we said, it’s a great option if you’re just getting started and looking for something easy to use.

Shopify: what is it and how it works

big cartel vs shopify
Image credit: Shopify

Shopify is one of the most popular e-commerce platforms out there. Through Shopify, you can create and manage every aspect of your online store.


If compared with Big Cartel, Shopify has more features, templates and integrations. For example:

  • over 6,000 third-party apps and services, allowing for great flexibility and customization;
  • over 100 payment gateways supported;
  • 24/7 customer support.


On the other hand, Shopify can be a little expensive for small businesses that are just getting started. Also, even though Shopify has a lot of templates you can use, the Liquid customization setup can be difficult to understand.

Quick takeaway

Shopify is suitable for everyone from small businesses to larger enterprises. It’s a great choice for those who want a comprehensive platform with a large user community and lots of resources.

Big Cartel vs Shopify

Big Cartel or Shopify? Let’s break down the main points:

Big Cartel
Ease of use

Very easy to use, user-friendly, with simple interfaces and an intuitive design. Suitable for beginners.

User-friendly, with simple interfaces and an intuitive design. Shopify has more customization options, but it can be a little overwhelming for beginners.

Design options

Options to customize, +10 free and paid templates, +100 third-party integrations.

Way more customizable, +100 free and paid templates, +6000 third-party integrations.

Payment options

Major credit cards, PayPal and Stripe

+100 payment options, such major credit cards, PayPal, Apple Pay, Google Pay, and many local payment methods. It also support multiple currencies.


Three plans: the Gold plan is free, but has some limitations, the Platinum plan costs $9.99/month; the Diamond plan $19.99/month.

The Basic plan starts at $29/month; the Shopify plan $79/month; the Advanced plan $299/month. Shopify has also an option for enterprise-level e-commerces, called Shopify Plus.

Customer support

Online resources and email support

Online resources and live chat, email, and phone support. Shopify offers a 24/7 customer support.

In the end, it all depends on your business needs. Shopify is the right option for you if you’re planning on growing and investing in your e-commerce. But if you’re looking for a simpler and low-cost option, and don’t need plenty of customizations, Big Cartel is a great choice.


While which platform you chose to host your shop with is optional, one thing isn’t: if you’re selling online, you’ll need to meet certain legal requirements.

👉 Whether you’re in the US, Europe or another region, you’ll likely need professional terms and conditions for your store (simple templates won’t cut it).

Here’s everything you need to know about terms and conditions for e-commerce stores

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